Los Angeles Business Journal

Activision Blizzard Beats Analyst Forecasts

By Tom Dotan Thursday, August 1, 2013

Activision Blizzard Inc. posted strong earnings for the second quarter, beating its internal guidance and analysts’ projections, even as the company continued to shed subscribers to “World of Warcraft.”

The Santa Monica game publisher reported net income of $324 million (8 cents a share) for the quarter ended June 30, compared with $185 million (20 cents) for the same period a year earlier. Revenue was down 42 percent for the quarter to $608 million.

Analysts had expected $605 in revenue with earnings of 7 cents a share. Quarterly earnings also topped Activision’s guidance of $590 million in revenue on 5 cents a share.

The company reported that the strong quarter was powered by continued sales of “Call of Duty: Black Ops II” and “Sky Landers Giants.”

Last month, Activision also bought back a large stake in the company from French media conglomerate Vivendi SA. Activision purchased $2.3 billion of Vivendi’s $5.8 billion in holdings.

“We are pleased with our second-quarter results, which confirm the preliminary results we released last week when we announced our transaction with Vivendi,” Activision Chief Executive Bobby Kotick said in a statement. “The agreement we reached with Vivendi will make us an independent company and should deliver meaningful earnings per share accretion to our shareholders.”

“World of Warcraft,” once the company’s biggest breadwinner, continued its downward spiral of users. A company report prior to earnings said that monthly subscribers to the massively multiplayer online game were down 600,000 to 7.7 million subscribers. That’s off from its peak of 12 million subscribers.

Still, with continued growth in other titles, Activision slightly raised its adjusted revenue guidance for the year to $4.3 billion from $4.2 billion.

Shares closed Thursday up 22 cents, or 1.2 percent, to $18.19 on the Nasdaq.